View more guides at Linux Wiki Guides
This is a compatibility guide to running Linux with the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 laptop. If you have the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 and are running Linux on it please consider editing this page or adding a comment below with your compatibility details. By contributing you will help other people running this laptop or trying to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.
This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 page on LapWik.
If you would like to edit this page please first view our Editing Guidelines.
For full specifications see the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 specifications page.
|Name||Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-2350M processor (dual-core, 2.30GHz, 3MB Cache)
Intel Core i5-2450M processor (dual-core, 2.50GHz, 3MB Cache)
Intel Core i7-3612QM Processor (quad-core, 2.10GHz to 3.10GHz, 6MB Cache)
|Screen||15.6“ choice of 1366×768, 1600×900 or 1920×1080 (Full HD) Widescreen|
|RAM||Up to 8GB (up to 16GB with after-market modules)|
|HDD||Up to 750GB (up to 1TB with after-market HDD)|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 3000
Intel HD Graphics 4000
Nvidia optimus (GeForce GT630M)
BCM43228 802.11a/b/g/n, 1×1 -or- Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230
Ericsson H5321 WWAN (included with 1600×900 and 1920×1080 screen choices, optional with 1366×768 models)
|Graphics Chip||Works||Nvidia optimus works fine with bumblebee 3.0.|
|Headphone Jack (Headphone / Mic Combo)||Works|
|Microphone Jack (Headphone / Mic Combo)||Works|
|Wireless||Works||The model tested had the ThinkPad 802.11a/b/g/n chip which is Broadcom (BCM43228) based. On Debian based systems this requires the broadcom-sta-dkms package. The compat-wireless (now backports) drivers from the 2014/08/08 and later releases now have an updated b43 driver that also supports this card. Linux kernels 3.17 and later should also have this updated b43 driver. Both the b43 and broadcom-sta (wl) drivers require firmware to be installed, however the b43 driver already seems to be the more stable of the two, use that one if you can. Ubuntu 12.04 and derivatives handle loading the firmware for this card automatically but may freeze-up on install (it seems they use the ndiswrapper module to load the Windows driver instead which is highly discouraged). Wireless cards cannot be easily changed as Lenovo has seen fit to add a whitelist of devices to the BIOS and refuses to boot if a card is detected that is not on this whitelist. There is a petition to Lenovo to release an unencumbered BIOS here https://www.change.org/petitions/lenovo-release-an-unencumbered-version-of-the-bios Updating the BIOS with a hacked version (see Google) to remove this restriction allowed a machine to boot with an Intel card bought from eBay for $12USD. A BIOS < 2.x is required for this to work otherwise a Lenovo / IBM branded card is required (search Google for “04w3765” which is the Lenovo part code for the Intel Centrino 2230 with bluetooth)|
|Bluetooth||Works||With the BCM43228 and Centrino chipsets|
|WWAN||Works||with inserted SIM card - includes GPS/AGPS functions which can be provided by mbm-gpsd here http://sourceforge.net/projects/mbm/ when used with the patches here http://sourceforge.net/projects/mbmgpsdng/|
|Card Reader||Works||RTS5229 chip may require downloading and installing a third party kernel driver on older distros|
|Fingerprint Reader (where applicable)||Works||Tested with fingerprint-gui and policykit-1-fingerprint-gui package of ppa:fingerprint/fingerprint-gui for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.|
|Hibernate/Resume||Depends||Works on Fedora 19. Not on Ubuntu 12.04. Works on Debian (with swap partition defined)|
This laptop was tested with Ubuntu 12.04, Linux Mint 13 and Debian 7.0 (Wheezy). Installation froze on machines with the Broadcom (ThinkPad) WiFi chip but with the Intel Centrino was straight forward with no issues to report. The 1.18 BIOS update from Lenovo fixes the fan problem. BIOS hacks are also available which remove the whitelist and allow installation of alternative wifi cards but these can only be applied if your orginal BIOS is version 1.18 or earlier. Later versions (version 2.0x +) of the BIOS use some version of Pheonix SecureRom and CANNOT be changed or downgraded. This severely limits which WiFi cards can be used. If you have a model with an older BIOS avoid the 2.0x update as this is irreversible and does not allow BIOS hacks to allow alternative WiFi cards past the whitelist. There is a petition to remove the whitelist here https://www.change.org/petitions/lenovo-release-an-unencumbered-version-of-the-bios
BUYER BEWARE: The Broadcom chip (also branded as the Lenovo a/g/n) mostly works with the broadcom-sta driver at the time of writing the but this driver is not updated very frequently. It does not work with the latest vanilla Kernels without a patch and is unlikely to ever properly support Linux. However, the compat-wireless (now backports) drivers from the 2014/08/08 and later releases now have an updated b43 driver that supports this card. Linux kernels 3.17 and later should also have this updated b43 driver. Both options require the b43-fwcutter package to cut the firmware out of the older (5.100.128 or earlier) proprietary drivers. The b43 option has proven to work flawlessly so far, although with limited support for 5GHz mode (if you can't see your 5GHz AP try changing the channel it broadcasts on).
If you have the Broadcom card and have a BIOS version later than 1.18 (or do not wish to mess with your BIOS) and you wish to upgrade to the better supported Intel card without paying the extortionate Lenovo price of $120 USD (all Lenovo / IBM have done is to change 2 bytes of data in the cards EEPROM) then a search on Google for the FRU “04w3765” will bring up a range of much cheaper options (~25 USD) for an officially branded IBM / Lenovo compatible Intel Centrino 2230. Be wary though, the author has only found one that works, many of those advertised on eBay that have the same FRU don't actually work with this laptop even though the FRU is on the E430 / E530 misc list so should be fully compatible and be fully authorised by the BIOS' whitelist. Caveat Emptor.
Some models of the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530 work fine with Linux, others require some tinkering to get working correctly. The model with the Intel Centrino Wifi chipset works flawlessly but the Broadcom chipset can cause multiple issues, especially with older distros. The b43 module in the backports drivers 2014/08/08 and later (and Linux kernels 3.17 and later) should provide much better support for this chip in future. If you are not prepared to build either the backports drivers or a custom kernel or wait until kernel 3.17 or later is default in your distro of choice and you can live without 5GHz WiFi then choose the Intel Centrino card. Replacing Wifi modules will require either a BIOS hack or an extortionately priced 'Lenovo' branded card, most of those same cards sold on eBay by Chinese retailers claiming Lenovo FRU numbers will not work. BIOS hacks are only possible with older models (pre 2.0x BIOS). Do not upgrade the BIOS to any version later than 1.18 unless you absolutely need Windows 8 style restrictive boot.